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Orthorexia next to anorexia and boulimia

  1. Feb 25, 2005 #1


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    Orthorexia, I had not heard of it before until yesterday in a documentary and I think it's interesting.

    It is the obsession of eating healthy foods, to the point of being very restrictive and ultimately starving yourself. Orthorexia patients don't strive to be thin and are not afraid to gain weight, but due to their eating habits they can loose weight and are in danger of risks associated with anorexia. A major problem right now is that it's not yet a recognized diagnosis and so leads to a lot of misunderstanding.

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  3. Oct 3, 2008 #2
    I, too, hadn't heard of orthorexia until about two days ago. Turns out, that probably should have been my diagnosis, but like you said, it's not yet a recognized diagnosis. Sounds exactly like me though.
  4. Oct 3, 2008 #3


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    I might have it! Every time I indulge in a couple of butter-fried hot dogs and rolls with hot sauces and mustard, I think that I ought to eat some salads and fruits to balance out the "bad stuff".

    Then I come out of the daze and eat whatever I want for the next meal. I eat enough garlic, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, beans, greens, etc out of my garden, that I could balance out 20 people's consumption of Hamburger Helper, Spaghetti-Os, fast food, etc. Send money with your list and I will absolve you.
  5. Oct 3, 2008 #4
    That doesn't sound like orthorexia to me. Isn't orthorexia where you only eat healthy foods??? And with me, I ate only healthy foods--sugar-free, fat-free (when possible), 1,000 calories or less per day. That's more like the definition of orthorexia, isn't it? What you describe doesn't sound that extreme at all.
  6. Oct 3, 2008 #5


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    turbo's just kidding around. Welcome to the PF, KittysMom.
  7. Oct 3, 2008 #6


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    I had never heard that term before either. But, I can certainly appreciate the problem. I wonder how prevalent it really is? It's sort of the "socially acceptable" eating disorder, isn't it? Afterall, products in the stores even cater to it...indirectly anyway...by promoting that they are fat free, sugar free, calorie free, etc. I suspect we all know at least one person who might fit that category, the one who we would call the "health nut" who really appears quite UNhealthy in their attempts to avoid anything that anyone has ever said might be bad for them.

    I can imagine the difficulty must be in determining when it goes from being health-conscious to unhealthy. It's pretty easy to identify anorexia or bulemia, by comparison. An anorexic is simply not eating anything, or far far far too few calories. The bulemic is defined by their purging, which is certainly not something others normally do. But, the person who is eating overly restrictively...how do you really know when they've crossed a line to disorder rather than simply inadequately educated about healthy diets, or someone who is just normally health conscious?
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